Ostensibly an article about medium format cameras, this is actually (at least in part) about the problem of changing cameras for the sake of it. 

I think about this a lot myself, the fact that most photographers actually become worse when we upgrade or change equipment, because we lose the ability to capture images without having to think about the tool in front of our eyes - it becomes a distraction, having to work out where the button for ISO / spot metering / whatever is on this new body, rather than an automatic reflex.

It means effectively that we’ve taken our eyes off the ball.  Whatever the subject is, we’re not paying attention to that, we’re playing with the little plastic box in our hands instead - meanwhile, the light is changing, the subject is getting bored, the action is passing us by, and so on.

So while I’m loving all the digital stuff, and lord knows I’ve bought enough new cameras in my time (at last count, 15 since 2002!), the fact is that when you bought a film body, it would keep doing what it did for anything from five to fifty years.  It largely didn’t affect the image quality - that was the lenses, and the film - where now, the film is built into the camera.  But during its life, you got to know the thing incredibly well, and changing settings was a reflex action that often didn’t even require taking your eye away from the viewfinder.  There were no pages of menus to scroll through.

So now, I try to stop myself when upgrades come along.  (I’m not saying I succeed, but I try!)  Because I know, for a short while at least, it’ll be setting me back rather than moving me forward as a photographer; so the upgrade, long term, has to be worth that lost time…and at least, when I do change or upgrade, I try to schedule it around times when I know I’ll have an opportunity to experiment and bond with the new camera for several weeks before doing work with it.

Just a thought.

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